LISTEN: Samantha Nell and Shannon Esra talk about Netflix movie 'Do Your Worst'

LISTEN: Samantha Nell and Shannon Esra talk about Netflix movie 'Do Your Worst'

Heartfelt, raunchy comedy, 'Do Your Worst', tackles toxic friendships in Jozi on Netflix globally. Regret and redemption take centre stage as Sondra, a struggling actor and professional mess, faces the consequences of a lifetime of her own bad decisions. 

Samantha Nell and Shannon Esra talk about Do Your Worst Netflix movie

South African comedy, 'Do Your Worst', hits Netflix tomorrow in over 190 countries. Produced by Bongiwe Selane (HAPPINESS IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD), the film is the debut feature film for South African director, Samantha Nell (THE BEAST, STIFF) whose short film screened at the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. This female written, produced, directed, and starring film pays homage to modern South African city life in a way never seen before.

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The NSFW film tells the story of Sondra, played by Shannon Esra, a struggling actress and lifelong hot mess, who finds herself in hot water when she is forced to face the consequences of her (lifetime of) bad decisions. This chaotic, yet loveable, anti-hero’s journey is the brainchild of Zoë Laband, based off a story by Zoë Laband and Sonia Esgueira.

Director, Samantha Nell, says “It was an opportunity to do a different kind of comedy. No matter where you are in the world, we wanted our characters to feel like people we recognise and know. It’s about laughter, but it’s also about seeing ourselves, and
our friends, and the friends we don’t tell our parents about.”

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The star-studded cast also includes Dorothy Ann Gould and James Borthwick, as Sondra’s fed-up parents that kick her out
the house. Kate Liquorish, as Sondra’s best friend, whose own life is so toxic it’s radioactive. The two seasoned and brilliant leading ladies are complimented by their respective love interests portrayed by Rea Rangaka and Wayne Van Rooyen.

Producer Bongiwe Selane says: “I’ve always been drawn to female-centered stories -- real stories about women in a modern South African context. So, when DO YOUR WORST landed on my desk, I knew that I had to be involved. This is an exciting take on a traditional genre – edgier, unfiltered, and, most importantly, relatable. South African and global audiences are not ready.”

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Shot in only 18 days, under the steady direction of NYU alumni, Samantha Nell, the film is as much about its central friendship
as it is about its romances. The unapologetic feeling of the characters and their Johannesburg setting will be a breath of fresh air for South African audiences.

Watch 'Do Your Worst' on Netflix for the perfect night in with your besties, bae or bottle of bubbles. 

Listen to the interview here

Shannon Esra

Shannon Esra, has been a professional actor since she was 16; her first job included working with Kim Basinger and Daniel Craig. She graduated from University of the Witwatersrand before doing a Bollywood film, “Salaam-E-Ishq” and Darryl Roodt’s rugby film “Number Ten”. She completed her takeover of South Africa’s screens with starring roles in shows like “Snitch”, “Isidingo”, “Still Breathing” and “Lioness”. On top of that she plays the beloved, and feared, TV lawyer, Sandra Stein, pretty much everywhere. 

Samantha Nell and Shannon Esra talk about Netflix movie Do Your Worst

Samantha Nell

Samantha Nell is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Asia. Over her career as a filmmaker she has made short films on four continents. Her shorts have premiered at major film festivals including the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, Durban International Film Festival and Locarno. Her accolades include Best Short Film at the Africa International Film Festival and a nomination for a Brazilian Academy Award. 

Samantha Nell and Shannon Esra talk about Netflix movie Do Your Worst

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